Fredericton, NB – Post-secondary students in New Brunswick are calling on government to commit to student success by adopting a number of key recommendations in the 2016-17 provincial budget.
Included among the recommendations are the reinvestment of funds from the tuition rebate program, the elimination of harmful income assessments for financial aid, an extension of Medicare to international students, and an increase in experiential learning opportunities.
“2015 was a tough year for post-secondary students in New Brunswick,” said Lindsay Handren, NBSA Executive Director. “Between the elimination of the tuition rebate, raising of the Timely Completion Benefit’s debt-cap, and a university operating grant freeze, students feel as though nothing has gone their way.“
“Now, students are asking government to show that they have not, in fact, been put on a back-burner.”
The four recommendations would see government invest in better financial and social supports for New Brunswick’s post-secondary students – supports that would help to reduce average debt loads, increase enrolment, and better ensure the development of a productive and skilled labour force.
They would also reduce the likelihood of outmigration from the province.
“Post-secondary students in New Brunswick face limited work opportunities, the highest average debt load in the country (for those with debt), and are often forced to choose between employment and financial aid due to a broken student loan system,“ said Annie Sherry, NBSA Board Chair.
“As a result, over 6,200 youth have left New Brunswick in the last five years alone.“
“Government has stated that it wants to create the province’s most job-ready generation. Students want to be that generation, but they will not get there unsupported. We strongly urge government to adopt these recommendations in the upcoming budget and commit to student success.”
Read our pre-budget submission in full here.